Danes are going to the polls on 3 December 2015 to vote in a referendum on Justice & Home Affairs (JHA)
The referendum will be a vote on replacing the Danish opt-out with an opt-in model similar to the one the United Kingdom and Ireland have. This opt-in model would allow for Denmark to choose which JHA policies and laws Denmark wants to take part in.
Danes are going to the polls on 3 December 2015 to vote in a referendum on one of Denmark’s four opt-outs – the one on Justice & Home Affairs (JHA). The referendum will be a vote on replacing the Danish opt-out with an opt-in model similar to the one the United Kingdom and Ireland have. This opt-in model would allow for Denmark to choose which JHA policies and laws Denmark wants to take part in.
The referendum follows a political agreement between a majority of the parties in Parliament - the Liberal Party which is the party in the current minority government, the Social Democrats, the Conservative Party, the Social Liberals, and the Socialist People's Party. The agreement is from 10 December 2014 and stipulates which existing EU initiatives Denmark wishes to opt into and which 10 Denmark wants to stay out of, if the Danes vote “yes” on 3 December. On top of the list of files Denmark wants to opt-into (and which listed below) are the legislation that Denmark currently participates in on an inter-governmental basis (Dublin III, Eurodac, Brussels I, Service of documents in civil or commercial matters) as well as all Schengen-related legislation.The agreement also states which future EU legislation Denmark wants to participate in, where the most significant proposal to the parties in the agreement is the upcoming Europol regulation.
The Danish opt-out on JHA dates back to 1993, when the Danes voted for the second time on the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. The opt-out on JHA means that Denmark automatically stays out of all supra-national EU JHA policy and doesn’t take part in EU Council votes in these areas.
It is the second time Denmark holds a referendum on one of its four opt-outs. Back in year 2000 a majority of the Danes said “no” to joining the Euro. Denmark has held 7 referenda on EU-related issues.
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